2022 MLB Draft: Tracking every UF player/signee selected

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The 2022 MLB draft kicked off Sunday night and 80 of the finest prep and college players in the country heard their names called.

Day 2 kicked off on Monday, July 18, at 2 p.m. with coverage of Rounds 3-10, and then Day 3 begins Tuesday at the same time for the final 10 rounds. Gators Wire will be tracking every Florida player drafted, including those who have only signed a letter of intent and have yet to play a game at Condron Family Ballpark.

Four Gators heard their names called on Sunday: incoming first baseman Xavier Isaac, outfielder Sterlin Thompson, left-handed pitcher Hunter Barco and outfielder Jud Fabian. All are expected to sign deals with the clubs that drafted them, but that might not be the case for those selected on Day 2 or 3.

Entering Day 2, Kevin O'Sullivan has produced 97 draft picks under his tutelage in Gainesville. He should hit 100 by the end of the draft.

Check back here throughout the draft to stay up to date with all of the moves that concern the orange and blue.

Round 1, Pick 29: 1B Xavier Isaac, East Forsyth High School

Surprisingly, the first player to come off the board that affected Florida was someone who has never played for them. The Tampa Bay Rays took Xavier Isaac with the 29th overall pick of the draft, and now Sully will be without what he thought was a hidden gem of a first baseman. Tampa likes Isaac’s upside as a power hitter but believes he can become a contact guy who spreads the ball all over the field in the majors.

As a senior at East Forsyth High School in Kernersville, North Carolina, Isaac hit .445/.579/1.296 with 12 home runs.

It would be a miracle to see Isaac land on campus but don’t expect the Rays to botch the deal.

Round 1, Pick 31: OF/IF Sterlin Thompson

AP Photo/Gary McCullough

Sterlin Thompson managed to sneak into the first round of the draft Sunday night as the 31st overall pick to the Colorado Rockies. His lefty bat has power and should play at the pro level, especially in Colorado where the air is thin even with a humidor in place. If all goes right, he should be hitting big flies over the right field wall at Coors Field in a few years.

Defensively, Thompson will likely end up in right field too. He split time between second base and right field with the Gators, but he really didn’t have a home in the field.

Expected to be the first Gator off the board, Thompson has no reason not to take this deal even though he’s young for the class. The 31st pick has a slot value of $2,429,300, so they should be able to get him to sign easily.

Sterlin Thompson selected in 1st round of 2022 MLB draft

Round 2, Pick 44: LHP Hunter Barco

AP Photo/Gary McCullough

If Hunter Barco’s season didn’t end early due to Tommy John’s surgery, he might have been a first-round pick. Even with the surgery, Barco didn’t miss out on much money being selected 44th overall by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

With a slot value of $1,775,200, Barco is as good as gone, but he leaves Gainesville as one of the best pitchers to ever wear the orange blue. His strikeout rate was above 11 and good for second all-time in program history.

Many have projected him to be a No. 3 or 4 starter in the pros, but his ceiling is higher than that.

Hunter Barco selected in 2nd round of 2022 MLB draft

Round 2 (CB-B), Pick 67: OF Jud Fabian

Cyndi Chambers/Ocala Star-Banner

Jud Fabian came back to Florida this season to elevate his draft stock and work on the issues scouts identified last year during the process. While he did raise his walk total and lower his strikeout rate, Fabian finished the year with the second worse average of his college career and struggled mightily against the SEC. The Baltimore Orioles selected him with the 67th overall pick.

His 24 long balls and stellar defense in center field kept him in the second-round range, but this likely isn’t what Fabian had in mind when he turned down the Red Sox at No. 40 last year.

Jud Fabian selected 67th overall in 2022 MLB draft

Round 3, Pick 90: RHP Brandon Sproat

Gary Cosby Jr.-The Tuscaloosa News

[autotag]Brandon Sproat[/autotag] was the first Gator to come off the board on Day 2 of the 2022 MLB draft. The New York Mets selected him 90th overall in the third round.

Sproat slowly moved his way to No. 1 in Florida’s weekend rotation this year after throwing just 21 2/3 innings a year ago. He maintained a 3.41 ERA and logged a 1.30 WHIP while racking up a team-high 82 strikeouts. What’s even better is that Sproat seemed to find some consistency toward the end of the season in high-pressure situations. The knock on him had always been that he has on days and off days, but being thrust into the No. 1 role after Hunter Barco went down seems to have helped him a bit.

He features a fastball that sits in the high 90s and can get up to 100 mph, a curveball, a 55-grade slider and a changeup. If everything clicks, he could end up being a solid No. 2 in the Show. Look for him to work on command throughout his time in the minors.

Of course, the deeper into the draft we get, the higher the chance a player doesn’t take the contract and returns to UF. Sproat did say that he wasn’t sure what was next for him, but doubling his slot money should be enough to go pro. If he doesn’t Florida has its ace for 2023.

Brandon Sproat drafted in 3rd round by New York Mets

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